Good question! You are probably wondering if it’s worth doing your yachting courses and also if there are super yacht jobs to be had out there.
The short answer is yes it is, and yes there are jobs.
Everyone has taken a knock due to Covid-19 but the yachting industry is recovering. This is mainly due to the fact that the rich and famous want to spend time on yachts again. (Or in some cases still, as many have been self isolating on board the entire time). This has meant that captains needed to re-hire crew that were laid off and sent home during the beginning of the lockdowns. In many cases they are in a predicament as they are not able to get the crew to the yacht because of crew not being allowed out of their home country ie. SA. This is a huge advantage to crew currently in Europe but not so much for us here.
This presents a few challenges but also opportunities.
How can I get a job if I don’t have any yachting qualifications? Short answer, you can’t. So I would recommend that you line up to do your STCW, power boat, personal watercraft, vhf, deckhand, stewardess and other courses as soon as possible. We know that there is normally a rush of students during Jan-April, so it would be wise to complete your training in winter to avoid the upcoming rush and the classes being booked up.
Opportunity resulting from overcoming challenge no.1:
You’ll be able to hit the ground running as soon as travel restrictions are lifted for tourism.
I know what you’re thinking. But what if I want to get a job from SA and how do I get to Europe? While it’s not impossible to get hired from SA, it’s difficult since without a track record or references to vouch for you, it’s a big risk for an employer to hire an “unknown” candidate from SA. They must help with visas, flights and quarantine expenses - where necessary, which is expensive and time consuming. Many would prefer to trial a candidate for day work or meet them face-to-face before offering a position. So I need to get to Europe then?…Yes.
Getting there. As of writing this, the French embassies are not issuing French Schengen visas, which means that France may not be an option right now. However the Italian and Spanish embassies are. All is not lost, Spain and Italy are just as popular with yachts especially as the season draws to an end and the boats go into ‘yard mode’.
Opportunity resulting from overcoming challenge 2 and 3:
You will be in a position to look for work, network, get experience and build your resume with day-work. There will be a lot less competition as many crew that are not as serious will decide to do other tings.
Of course we go into more detail on the above on our deckhand course, but I hope this helps at least a little. If nothing else, South Africans are known for being able to “make a plan” so let us help you make yours.